(Los Angeles, California - April 23, 2017) Starting from the bottom, there’s only one way to go: up. Like a triumphant phoenix rising from the ashes, Toronto based hip hop artist Reema Major has utilized her humble beginnings as a Sudanese refugee to propel her along an impressive journey with highlights in the form of a record deal with Interscope Records, co-signs from Maybach Music Group president/ rapper Rick Ross, hip hop icon Dr. Dre, a coveted spot in the BET Hip Hop Awards cypher. All by the age of 15. And on the cusp of the release of her dynamic debut album LegenDiary, Reema Major is taking the path less traveled to chart new territory and create her own lane.
Over the past decade Reema has stolen shows like during the 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards cypher, initiating a bidding war where she ultimately signed to CherryTree/ Interscope Records and had her singles featured in blockbuster films. She released her mixtape I Am Legend in 2011 and a host of music videos including "I'm the One" featuring Rick Ross which helped boost her Youtube channel to 2 million views.
Now at 21-years-old, a newly liberated Reema is poised to take the hip hop world by storm and cement herself in the pantheon of the culture’s most respected lyricists with her stunning debut album LegenDiary. Produced by Adrian & Lucas Rezza (Cee-Lo Green, Musiq SoulChild), the album is a powerful sonic journey through the inner most thoughts and musings of one of hip hop’s most unsung voices. The album was recorded over the course of four days at the Rezza Brothers studio in Toronto. In the anthropomorphic tradition of Nas’ vivid 1996 track “I Gave You Power,” the riveting “AK47” is a first person confessional from the perspective of a gun.
“I partially did it as a homage to Nas. The beat was the gasoline that resonated with me. The flame was the ideas that came after that. I’m from a place that has been plagued with war. And here in the America, we’ve been experiencing plenty of publicized instances of police violence. So this is my commentary on those situations.”
Reema flips the script by tapping into her Atlanta period on the ultimate turn up track “Take Your Shoes Off In My House” featuring Canadian opera singer Measha Brueggergosman. The product of a unique hip hop/ opera mash up concept, the earth shattering jam is as much a saucy directive to abide by Reema’s house rules as it is a trap embroidered testament to her true versatility as an artist. Other tracks on the upcoming album include “Ghetto Slumchild” which seeks to give perspective on America’s most undesirable inner city neighborhoods by fashioning them as a dream come true for those in the international community in comparatively dire straits.
“I remember coming to North America, we stayed in an immigration reception home. We had to get people to help us. But I just remember how beautiful it was to me and my family, how happy we were, and how the hood was like paradise to us. A lot of people, even me and my homies do it sometimes, sit on the block and complain. But if I brought any child from a worse situation in the world to this same block, this would be their paradise.”
With a trajectory that shares parallels with Juno award winning Canada-based hip hop artist K’Naan, an emcee who fled conflict in his native Somalia as a youth, Reema has chosen to utilize her distinct visibility and voice to bring light to the heart wrenching realities of the multitude of children in the world subject to the dangers of conflict zones. To that effect, she has entered into a partnership with the non profit organization War Child. Based in the U.S., War Child provides empowerment by offering psychosocial, educational and legal support to war affected children from the international community.
While mainstream hip hop culture languishes amidst a seemingly self imposed drought of female artists, Reema appear to be phased in the latest. It’s almost as if she possesses a foresight that her talent and tenacity will soon settle that score. Sooner than the industry may realize. And if that’s the case, there’s no doubt that the sonic boom ofLegenDiary is her bold and brazen warning shot.
Purchase New Single "AK47"
Born in Khartoum, Sudan, her family fled the country to nearby Kenya - and subsequently Uganda - in the midst of an intense political conflict. But as a young child, her unique predisposition for absorbing the minutiae and details of her surroundings was already starting to take shape. But it wasn’t until Reema Major arrived in Ontario, Canada a few years later that her young life would be shaped by a cultural immersion that would unearth a powerful, yet hidden talent. As refugees from a war torn country, Reema Major and her family had become well versed at the art of acclimating to new environs. But for Reema, this new culture would have an indelible impact on her life’s trajectory in ways her young mind couldn’t possibly fathom.
After relocating to Kansas City at age nine, Reema Major continued to sharpen her craft with voracity. As she continued to volley between the two cities, Reema began to hybridize her interactions with their distinctive approaches to hip hop culture. Over the course of these formative years, she’d managed to galvanize the breadth of her Toronto - Kansas City experiences and her love for hip hop culture along with glimpses of her time as a young refugee.
"The Sudanese-Canadian emcee Reema Major was signed to Interscope Records, thanks to both her considerable rap skills as well as, oddly enough, the help of KISS frontman Gene Simmons. The self-proclaimed “Illest Kid” has a vocal style that draws well-deserved comparisons to such heavy-hitters as Queen Latifah and Lauryn Hill. The bilingual artist has a versatile style that vacillates from quasi-punk beats to Arab-inflected tunes as her smooth flow rolls over them in a rapid-fire attack that belies her age."
"Reema Major doesn't look like a sixteen-year-old. She also doesn't rap like a sixteen-year-old but like a very talented grownup. It's hard to imagine who exactly comprises the market for a cute teen who doesn't look like a teen rhyming in a hard as fuck double time, but apparently the suits at Interscope seem to think these people exist. I was hoping to make a joke here about Rick Ross getting outshined by a teenage girl but the bawse doesn't actually rap on this song, perhaps out of fear."
"We first heard of Reema Major at the 2010 BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher and she surely held her own. A year later and the 16-year-old Canadian rapper—by way of Kansas City—is really ready to cause damage."
"Born in Sudan and raised in both Canada and Kansas City, has a musical ear that is seldom seen or heard of at such a young age. While her rhymes are hard-hitting and sometimes quite raw, listen between the lines and you’ll catch pieces of her very real and not-always-fun life tales. Her brightly-colored eclectic style is simply an additive to the total rapping-singing package, throwing her in the lion’s den of rap blabbers comparing her to Nicki Minaj. What other female artists lack in culture and inspiration, this Canadian bred brown girl makes up for with being trilingual and expressing the harsh realities of her upbringing through her music and fashion."
"Time Magazine recently listed her as a “Female Rapper To Watch” — and she’s only 17 years old! This Sudanese-by-way-of-Canada rap prodigy did her first BET cypher when she was 14, and has had her song, “Gucci Bag,” placed in the film “The Bling Ring.”